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Pop CultureNovember 18, 2016

‘I just feel like it was the time for me to say something, stand up for something’: Aaradhna explains her explosive NZVMAs speech


Aaradhna explains why she declined the Urban/Hiphop Album award at the New Zealand Music Awards.

It’s something I’ve always thought – this is unfair, I’m a singer and we’re being put against hiphop. I’ve always felt – why am I in this category? I’m a singer. My music is a blend – it’s R&B, it’s soul, pop, it’s got a bit of country in it. I don’t rap at all in it.

What does ‘urban’ mean? And then ‘urban-slash-hiphop’, what does that mean? Is that the brown people award? To me, it felt like that. I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. Like, this is kind of unfair. I’m a singer! I feel for the hiphop artists as well.

I just thought it would go against what I’m singing in this song, about being placed in a box, if I was to accept the award now. I’ve always thought about it, and now I just feel like, I don’t want it. I’m grateful to be given an award – I’m always grateful – but it’s unfair to be put against a genre that’s got nothing to do with your genre. I’m not angry, I just feel like it’s unfair to be in a category that’s not related to what I do. To me, it just seems like it’s the brown people category, or the coloured people or whatever. That’s the category for the ‘urban folks’. But, to me, I feel like that’s for hiphop. There’s more hiphop artists that were nominated in that category and it’s always been that way and I feel like it belongs to that hiphop crowd.

The first song on the album I put out was ‘Brown Girl’ and I named the album after that. And that to me is the most important song on the album. It’s bringing me back to that place from a couple of years back, and I have to speak my piece. I have to let it all out. I got to. I was like, if I do get something, I’m going to speak my mind, I want to say everything I want to say and I got to say it.

I didn’t get to thank everybody that I want to thank, but I just wanted to speak about things that have always been bothering me and were always at the back of my mind. I’m definitely not angry, I just feel like it was the time for me to say something, stand up for something. Because if you don’t stand up for something, what’s the point? I called that song ‘Brown Girl’ and it’s based on so many things and if I don’t stand up for what I really feel, I’d just be a liar.

Aaradhna was speaking to Duncan Greive

Read her complete speech here

Listen to Brown Girl here



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